On Baby Slings!

The baby shower has now past, so it’s safe to post the full details of the all-consuming Baby Thing – a Baby Sling!

My sister actually had the original idea; since most every commercially sold baby sling we’d ever seen was made with some very pretty – and very girly – floral print, she wondered if I could find a baby sling pattern and then make it from more manly fabric, for the sake of my brother.  I thought this was an excellent idea, and soon set out to find a pattern.

There were two patterns readily available among the patterns at my local JoAnn’s.  One called for velcro fasteners… no.  The Simplicity pattern called for parachute clips… winner!

I took my boy and my sewing expert roommate with me to choose male-friendly fabric appropriate for the project.  We quickly determined that the corduroys and heavy polyesters would be far too hot for Houston in the summer, and settled on finding a denim outer and light cotton lining. We quickly found an adorable cotton that was off-white with a fantastically cute jungle print in brown, and the grand victory was a dark denim with embroidered brown paw prints.  I was so thrilled with my purchase I spent the next week showing it off to everyone I knew – except for my brother, of course.

Naturally, I managed to put off starting the thing for two months.  When I went to cut the fabric, I found myself short on fabric.  After a panicked run back to JoAnn’s for more, I was able to restart the project with a little more than a month before the baby shower.

Naturally, I wound up working until midnight on the last possible night.  It will surprise no one that I hit a few snags along the way.

The pattern called for gathering the ends of the large middle section, and I blew two hours trying to successfully achieve this gather, breaking the thread, removing said broken thread, and trying again.  Then I established that the gather was not skinny enough for the end pieces, and was way too thick for the machine to stitch through anyway.  So I blew another evening yet again removing the gather stitching, and pleating the thing instead.  As a side note, Karen thinks it looks better pleated anyway.

Then of course, I broke a needle and had to consult the expert roommate again to decipher the cryptic needle classification system on my box of replacements.

I still haven’t quite mastered the art of sewing in a straight line, and I really haven’t mastered the curved stitch, but I am getting very good at pulling out crooked stitches and trying again.  Those little crossed squares holding down the straps are particularly cruel to make, especially since they went over the thickest layers of fabric.  To add insult to injury, I spent two hours making them really pretty, only to find that I’d stitched them down to the wrong side.  Again, I’m really quite good at pulling out stitches now.

I’m not 100% happy with the final result, but lacking a bigger, heartier machine and the kind of skill that only comes with lots of practice, I am definitely satisfied with what I have created: